Title: Using the least limiting water range to evaluate water stress on crops Authors
Submitted to: Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: September 7, 2011
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Plant stress caused by adverse soil physical conditions can cause major reductions in plant biomass and grain yield. We evaluated the Least Limiting Water Range (LLWR) against a procedure (here called the Jones model) commonly used to model adverse soil condition to determine which method more accurately predicts plant response to changing soil conditions. Each procedure evaluates soil physical conditions based on simple soil physical properties. The LLWR model determines plant growth suitability based on soil water holding capacity, soil strength, and soil aeration. The Jones model uses bulk density and soil texture to determine the same soil limiting conditions. Using field measurements of soil bulk density and water content measurements, we determined the time the plant was growing under physically limiting conditions based on each model. Plants evaluated included corn, sunflower, and spring barley. Soil limitations based on the LLWR model were better correlated with observed crop yield for all of the crops studied. We conclude that the LLWR model may be a better method to identify soil physical limitations to crop growth and would improve crop growth models if it were used in comprehensive model simulations.